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Mags1082 Mags1082 is offline
 
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i need down time fillers
Old 04-04-2006, 05:53 PM
 
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I have just taken an interim position in 4th grade. I have been here almost 2 weeks and I am about to go insane! I just graduated in December and this is my first job so coming at the end of the year has been hard! My 4th graders are taking full advantage of me and my confusion. They are completing work in 5 minutes and can not stop talking, getting out of their seats, arguing with each other and me, and just being completely out of control most of the time. I always felt that i was pretty strict but my student teaching experience school was TOTALLY different from this school. I need some ideas of what the students need to do when they complete an assignment. I called my cooperating teacher and she had some good ideas.....a box full of crossword puzzles or other fun things to complete that have their vocabulary or spelling words on them. Also having a larger project like a self poster that they work on at any time they don't have something else to do.


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computers?
Old 04-04-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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do you have computers in your room? you could post a couple learning/game websites they could go to.

post all the "acceptable" free time activities:
write a story
write a poem
write a song
play an educational game
play chess
play scrabble
play boggle (maybe too loud)
practice your spelling words
pleasure read
read for book report
make a game to practice a recent concept (states/capitals, reducing fractions, times tables, continents, minerals....)
put together a puzzle

go to the teacher store and find some fun workbooks.....like logic puzzles or those pictures (i can't think of the name) like:

head
heels

(that means head over heels)
and make copies of the most interesting ones and have a "puzzler" station where kids can go for a challenge.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:02 PM
 
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The previous post was pretty good. A strategy I use when I need the kids to be busy all period is to load the board with work. The first item or two are real assignments kids need to do for a grade. They tend to be assignments that take some time to do, like vocabulary cards. I list similar activities itemized above, but they are called "assignments" although not everyone will get to them, and maybe they'll get graded and maybe not. Kids don't know if it will or not. In the "teachers as readers" area there is a reading club talking about workstations that would be excellent for keeping students occupied.
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Phelan Phelan is offline
 
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How about
Old 04-05-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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A listening center-
word wall activities- make a copy of a keyboard and have students practice spelling/word wall words on keyboard/ in sign language.
Assign each letter a # and have them figure out how much their words are worth or their spelling word phone numbers.
Mazes are great time fillers- solve using only their eyes/then opposite hand/ etc.
Flash Cards- practice math facts using dice.
Map skills using map scale/direction etc.
Research different states and have students make brochures.
ABC books- ABC's Of Space/Southwest/ Plants etc.
I have more if you are interested. The way I feel about it is the less worksheets I have to grade, the better.
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behaviors
Old 04-05-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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I would start a reward system with the class. I give class stars (a star drawn on the blackboard) to the class when they are exceptionally good. When they have 25 stars, I bring in brownies.

You can also give tables that are doing well tallies, and then have a reward for the table with the most tallies at the end of the week, or for the table that gets to a certain number of tallies first, etc.

For individuals, I give tickets to acknowledge good behavior, or work that meets and/or exceeds expectations. They write their name on the tickets, and put them in a locked box (we had tickets stolen one year). At the end of each week, I draw 4 tickets from the box & those kids get a prize (prizes average around 10 cents each). The rest of the tickets are thrown away. If a child's name is drawn twice, that child can take 2 prizes & I draw another name so 4 kids get prizes.

I recently had my class write me a letter that told me one thing that they liked about the class and one thing they wished we could change. Almost all of them write that they liked the class stars or the prizes for tickets. Several suggested that the class should get a reward after 20 stars, and I changed the criteria to 20 stars.

If kids are getting out of their seat to ask a question, I tell them that I don't answer questions if kids are not in their seats. It doesn't take long before they stop getting out of their seat for questions.


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Old 04-08-2006, 06:20 AM
 
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I agree with all the other suggestions, but I was wondering why they are completing the assignments so quickly. Maybe you should look at the activities you are doing with them - are they too easy? Are you allotting too much time for them to complete? Or are the students just finishing them quickly and not really completing them with effort? They also might be too hard - sometimes when kids don't know what to do, you lose them. You also might want to try some big projects that might get the kids more motivated and interested. Good Luck!
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Petunia
Old 04-08-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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Look at Mrs. Renz's site. All of these sites are loaded with ideas.

Fourth and fifth grade Music and Art resources
http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedFo...1217/arts.html
Fourth Grade Skills Online for kids
http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_4th.htm
Fourth Grade-Audrey Fine's Fourth Grade
http://teacherweb.com/OH/Cleveland/AudreyFine/
Fourth Grade-Miss Morrow's 4th grade
http://www.camas.wednet.edu/helenbal...roy/index.html
Fourth Grade-Mrs. McElroys's 4th grade
http://www.camas.wednet.edu/helenbal...roy/index.html
Fourth Grade-Mrs. Passetto's 4th grade class
http://www.geocities.com/pass4teach/
Fourth Grade-Mrs. Quamme' Fourth and Fifth grade
http://www.myschoolonline.com/site/0...-86253,00.html
Fourth Grade-Mrs. Renz's 4th grade class
http://www.redmond.k12.or.us/patrick/renz/
Fourth Grade-Room 33's Learning Village (Teri)
http://homepage.mac.com/tchnteri/Education2.html

Good Luck and Best Wishes.
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Terra Terra is offline
 
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Old 05-05-2006, 08:19 AM
 
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It sounds like you could benefit from a few things.

First, some kind of discipline routine that includes consequences for getting out of their seats or talking out or back to the teacher. When all else fails, get one of those flip chart things and be strict about it! The first time someone gets their card on red, issue a citation and be firm. They will soon realize that their behavior isn't going to cut it anymore.

Second, it sounds like your students are simply finishing their assignments too early. Try loading them down with more work and tell them that they won't get out to recess on time if it is not complete. Of course, this is assuming that the work is at their ability level. If some students are working hard but can't complete the assignment, don't hold them back from recess, of course.

Third, and this is what I do for those students who always seem to be finished with assignments well before others (and who are actually thorough), i have an "Early Finishers" chart. I just write "Early Finishers" on my chart paper easel and have it in view of the whole class. If the students were completing a reading assignment, it might say: 1) "Do extension activity on p. 53" (if we're using our Houghton Mifflin reading books); 2) Create your own "big idea" questions about the story. Choose two to answer in a paragraph in your reading folders. Then have a partner answer one and discuss/compare your answers". Then, maybe 15 minutes before the reading/math/whatever period is over, I bring the class together and review the required assignment and then have students volunteer to share with the class if they did any of the "extra" work. For example, I might have kids read one or two of the discussion questions they created in order to have a quick whole class discussion of them. For math, have your required assignment, then have a chart for "Early Finishers" to complete more challenging work, word problems to be completed in pairs, etc. My school also uses the "Mountain Math" program which is a good thing kids can go to once they have finished their math assignment (essentially a review board of math concepts with questions they can complete independently). Sometimes, I might not have time to make a chart, so I'll just find the kids who seem to be looking for something to do and say, "Hey I want you to create your own word problem about blah blah blah" and have them quiz a partner or something like that. Or, "Please try these extra problems...."

The point is, make extra work available so that students do not have any excuse to be wandering around and confused about what to do. I kind of dislike the ideas about letting them play "educational games" such as "boggle" or whatnot, as one of the options, unless it's at a specific designated time, because knowing my group, they would take full advantage of this and just goof off instead of taking it seriousely.

Finally, if you need some 5 minute filler type activities, try "silent ball" (great to get them to be quiet!). Just have them sit on their desks and pass a ball back and forth. Two rules: no dropping the ball, and no talking. If they break a rule they have to sit down and are "out". You can make up other rules as you play to make it harder and harder (i.e. no passing to a girl if you're a girl, etc.). Also, quiz them on multiplication math facts and have them challenge eachother by playing "around the world". This will get them to be quiet so they can hear eachother's answers (it's a competition after all). Also, have some kind of whole class educational game handy for times when the whole class simply finishes something early (i.e. Math Bingo or some kind of Jeapardy game).

You might also try www.puzzlemaker.com to make quick crossword puzzles and other such games out of your spelling/vocabulary words. You can make them for the whole year ahead of time if you're really on top of things, and then just have them available for kids to work on when they finish something.

Sorry so long! Hope that helped.
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